HTC wildfire

So what do we really make of the HTC Wildfire? It's a likable handset with a lot going for it.

We love the HTC Wildfire's grown-up looks, proving that low-cost handsets don't have to look like they should be sold in ToysRUs.

You can't go far wrong with HTC's Sense interface either, customising those seven home screens means that no two handsets need be the same and it'll work for you.

The social networking integration will appeal to the younger generations, although some may find the caller-ID functions redundant. Quick and clever web browsing will be universally appreciated, as will the Google Maps which never let us down.

A myriad of little things kept us happy – from app sharing to the easy setup process, the inclusion of a camera flash and the handy flashlight.

The thing that kept annoying us while using the HTC Wildfire was the screen. It just isn't sharp enough for us, if we're honest, and if you've ever used a handset with an AMOLED or Super-AMOLED screen, you'll find yourself thinking the same.

Anyone who wants to watch a lot of video on their handset would be well advised to steer clear. And while HTC has got a lot of things right in its Sense UI but there are still areas that smack of afterthought.

We were hoping that lower processing and poorer-quality screen may at least mean a more copious battery life, but that doesn't seem to be the case; and with delayed messages and multiple dropped calls, the Wildfire didn't prove itself 100% reliable either.

It's heartening to see HTC getting a low-cost handset so right and, although there were niggles, we're convinced that the HTC Wildfire is one of the best mid-range Android phones around.

Whether the cost will remain a little too high to make it a truly budget phone, though, remains to be seen.

PJ: Ultimately I like the HTC Wildfire it because it's a familiar system. I feel like it could easily compete with the big boys like the iPhone and the Desire, but it's also a bit of a bargain.

I'd give it 4/5

DS: I was really surprised how much I liked this phone – and how much better HTC handsets are in general.

There are some really nice touches on here, like the flashlight and easily to use home screens, and a good range of email and internet options. It might be a bit daunting for those who haven't used smartphones before, but it's pretty straightforward once you start fiddling.

I didn't like the screen quality, nor the squat shape – but then again, for the price it's great, I just think I'll be happier trying something like the Desire or the iPhone 4.

I'd give it 3.5/5.

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